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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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in fact, every activity in that direction, proved futile. The United
Nations possessed no means of prevailing upon Russia to change her
attitude. Only a war could do that. Since, however, the battle against
the German invader in the Soviet Union was progressing satisfactorily.,
there was not the slightest necessity for the Kremlin to change its pre-
determined policy towards Poland in any way. This policy was conducted
along the usual Soviet lines, with the aim of isolating the Polish Govern-
ment and removing it from the camp of the United Nations, or, alter-
natively, by pressure exerted through the medium of Britain, to render it
speechless and defenceless, in order that the problem of the re-annexation
of the territories of Eastern Poland might be settled by a secret bargain
with the competitors. The severance of relations with the Polish
Government eased, in addition, the Soviet's task of preparing the next
target, Western Poland, for its future occupation.
On June 4, 1943, the Polish Premier, General Sikorski, returning from
an inspection of the troops in the Middle East, perished in an air crash
off Gibraltar. There had been an ominous presentiment among his
friends, many of whom had written begging him not to travel by air, but
Sikorski had ignored these pleas. There were also rumours of sabotage
in connection with this crash; about that time German agents had been
discovered and executed in Gibraltar (the German radio accused the Soviets
of this attempt), but an investigation undertaken by the British authorities
in which a representative of the Polish Government participated, could
find no trace of any subversive action, and the final verdict was that the
cause of the catastrophe had been accidental.
Sikorski died at a time when the shares of the Poland, of which he
claimed to be the representative, the Poland " which had entered the war
in 1939, in full integrity " and which (as he had also claimed) " would
emerge from this war after victory, stronger and greater than before,"
were at their lowest in the chancelleries of diplomacy. Poland was the
embodiment of the noble sentiments with which the Allied Nations had
embarked on the war. The advance of the Red Army westward marked
the ebb-tide of that idealism. Victorious Russia was entering Eastern
and Central Europe with the slogans of liberation, but acted as the most
ruthless of conquerors. Those who wanted to believe that the Soviets
had changed their ideas and altered their policy, were to receive the first
shock when the Red Army crossed the border of the Baltic States and
Poland. The high-sounding slogans which the Kremlin had used to
camouflage its power-politics were insufficient to disguise these naked
facts : the Kremlin was unwilling to agree to any attempts at restoring
the democratic States of the Middle Zone.
Sikorski's standing among the United Nations as a champion of the
integrity of the smaller countries would have impeded the approaching
Soviet diplomatic offensive, which had as its aim the strengthening of the